And so another “Glorious twelfth” passes by and the world is treated to the welcoming sight of people’s naked sectarianism manifesting itself as “culture”. It fills my heart with pride to see my fellow citizens, in various states of drunken undress, showing the world that we are still, in part, a neanderthal backwater best avoided by anyone with a modicum of common sense and respect for others.
We, as a country, are a fucking disgrace. We are a bad joke dressed and hailed as a democratic conflict resolution model. We fawn adoringly as a mass murderer tells us that we “..set the example for those who are seeking peace”. If that’s the case we, and those who would seek to emulate us, are truly fucked.
There is a bitterness and bigotry in Northern Ireland that defies logic. We are doomed to forever repeat the mistakes of the past because we cling to things that don’t even matter in the real world.
By way of example I happened to drive through Aghagallon in Country Antrim just the other day. It epitomizes everything you could ever want in a sleeply little village. Clean, quiet with well-kept lawns and gardens ne’er a flag or painted kerbstone in sight and an air of welcoming confidence. Several hundred yards up the road is Aghalee, an all together different picture. Bedecked with flags and painted kerbstones resplendent with its “Orange Arch” clearly and proudly, some might say intimidatingly, celebrating their cultural heritage. It’s a strange type of celebration though as it is obvious to anyone driving through the village that the economic recession has taken its toll. There are more boarded up businesses than open businesses, the main street plays host to a myriad of blue plastic bags and various assorted forms of litter are strewn across its length and breadth. What future for the young men and women of Aghalee and beyond if we hang our priorities on our past? Does it make unemployed people feel any better knowing that whilst their economy (and future) is imploding around them that they, at least, can still afford to celebrate their culture with such aplomb?
Me, I don’t so much celebrate my culture nor do I feel the need or compulsion to do so. I prefer to celebrate my being, my family, my friendships, my achievements and I don’t need a flag, a jaded political dogma a riot and a hangover to do it. Culture never put a meal on my family dinner table, nor will it anyone elses.
Not only are the scenes of violence and naked sectarian aggression, from whatever side, broadcast across the world scaring people from coming here but they are also scaring people like me who live here. They scare me because we have terrorists in Government, we take direction and succour from a mass murderer who deigns to bless us with his carefully worded platitudes. Our political structures are built predominantly on nakedly sectarian bias and those parties who, when it mattered, made real sacrifices and concessions have been sidelined to facilitate the self serving sectarian circus that is the Assembly.
There is a depressingly predictable mindset here in Northern Ireland where we think we are better than “themmuns”. I despair as I watch the tribes play out in real life their “Lord of the flies” mentality. It depresses the befuck clean out of me. It’s time to stop this nonsense and put our tribal attitudes to bed.
Culture? Fuck culture. Give our people jobs, self-esteem and hope. Perhaps then they won’t have to cling to their past as if it actually fucking mattered.
“The future’s bright, the future’s
Kids, wake the fuck up!